This lovely hanging piece was created by my friend Jon Daniels, a brilliant artist whom I've known since junior high school. Jon is an interesting and multi-talented guy.I'm fascinated by the movement of this piece. The dogwood branches at the top, flowing into an urban background (notice the church in the upper left corner). At the bottom, a congregation of sages gathered beneath a bloody-looking mass. Jon's artist statement about the piece mentioned his upbringing in a charismatic Pentecostal church, and then his journey to a more profound place of questioning the very nature of faith. Although I am unable to nail out a coherent interpretation of the work, I am deeply moved by it--and I think that's what makes it beautiful.
On the seminary front, I have been working on a project due this weekend. It's a 12-page paper along with research presentation on a synthesis of information I've gathered from Dietrich Bonhoeffer's Life Together and Henri Nouwen's The Way of the Heart: Desert Spirituality and Contemporary Ministry. In my research (I'm trying to compare and contrast the theories in the books and fit them somehow into a comprehensive theory of New Monasticism), I've come across this little gem, released this year by Fortress Press. It's Bonhoeffer and King: Their Legacies and Import for Christian Social Thought, a series of essays edited by Willis Jenkins and Jennifer M. McBride.
On top of all this awesomeness, Alyssa and I also found on our trip to Barnes and Noble (something we do very rarely--when it does happen, we rejoice!) a tiny manual called The Urban Homestead, by Kelly Coyne and Erik Knutzen.
This brilliant little handbook of self-sufficiency includes DIYs and how-tos for just about everything from gardening to keeping chickens to generating power from rainwater, all within the confines of your urban home. You can bet this will come in handy once we move to KC (please, Lord, let that day come soon). Alyssa and I are so excited to start our new lives in community. But in the meantime, we're just biding our time and collecting more and more information on communal, self-sustainable living.
Oh, and I also may be quitting my job at the Olive Garden. This has been a desire of mine for a long time--it is so difficult to be in a position in which I am a server, but not necessarily a servant. In any case, a local Wesleyan church in Scott City is offering to pay me to lead contemporary worship for them until I leave Cape in the spring. While the church is doctrinally much more conservative than I am, I was welcomed warmly last night when I visited the church to play a few songs for them--I think this could really work out.
Anyway. I am off to grab a bit of sleep before making the long drive to Kansas City tomorrow.